Captain Frederick V. McNair Jr., USN, (Retired), (1882-1962)
Frederick Vallette McNair Jr. was born on 13 March 1882 in Maryland. Appointed "at large" to the U.S. Naval Academy, he graduated in 1903. For his two-year Midshipman sea duty, he served on board USS Brooklyn and USS Oregon. Commissioned an Ensign in February 1905, he was assigned to USS Raleigh. Remaining at sea, he transferred to the newly commissioned USS Nebraska. In February 1908, he was promoted to Lieutenant, bypassing Lieutenant Junior Grade after serving three years, and commanded the Reserve Torpedo Boat Force at Norfolk, Virginia. In November 1909, he commanded USS Bonita. A year later, he was assigned to Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, Rhode Island.
In February 1913, McNair reported to USS New Jersey and participated in the intervention at Vera Cruz, Mexico a year later. On 22 April 1914, he courageously engaged the enemy and skillfully led his men in battle, ensuring the capture of the city. For his "distinguished conduct in battle" on this occasion, McNair was awarded the Medal of Honor. He then transferred to command the destroyer Jenkins. In September 1915, he reported to the Naval Academy and was promoted to Lieutenant Commander in August 1916. During World War I, McNair commanded USS Woolsey and was temporarily promoted to Commander in January 1918. Remaining at sea, he commanded the destroyer Dickerson while also serving as the Commander of Destroyer Division Nine, Atlantic Fleet.
In September 1920, McNair was permanently promoted to Commander and ordered to Fifteenth Naval District at Balboa, Panama Canal, Panama. Two years later, he reported to Navy Recruiting Station, Baltimore, Maryland. In November 1923, he served on board USS New Mexico then transferred to USS Rochester. After attending the Army War College in Washington D.C., McNair reported in September 1927 to the Fourth Naval District at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. While at this post in June 1931, he retired and was placed on the retired list. During World War II, he was briefly recalled in February 1942 to active duty and promoted to Captain, only to be placed back on the retired list with the rank of Captain. Frederick V. McNair died on 2 September 1962 and is buried at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery, Annapolis, Maryland.
This page features all the images we have concerning Frederick V. McNair Jr.
Medal of Honor citation of Lieutenant Frederick V. McNair, USN (as printed in the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 101):
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